Tag Archives: transport

“You can’t win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”

30 Jun

VW: The Dark Side from Greenpeace in Nordic on Vimeo.

Join up via my Jedi page: http://vwdarkside.com/en/jedi/simon-howlett-5679

& you can see Episode II of the VW saga after you have done so.

May the force be with you.

Boris bikes

16 May

The Barclays Cycle Hire, or as everyone else is calling it Boris’s Bike’s (Fitting into the view of him being a megalomaniac, who owns every single one of them, and will one day use them as some sort of tool to gain greater power – cue evil bumbling laugh) have rolled out across London.

By 2015 this splendour of sustainable travel will consist of :-

■5000 Bikes

■350 Docking Stations

■12 Cycle Superhighways
(The nearest to Richmond will be running through Honslow)

Spread all over greater London and with more then 1200 people signed up, no one can knock it for being a bad idea ‘sustainable, low carbon travel’ is a big thing these days.

Be wary though, as soon as one person goes under a bus on one of these bikes; the tabloids will change their tune and call for the scheme to be scrapped and Boris to be hung from the Tower of London.

So what other challenges do TFL, Boris and Barclays face in the future

Well all the people that want to cycle in London; most likely already own a bike

The price for some seems more pricy then the bus or tube :-

Free first 30mins, though this does not include the fact that you have to pay a £1 access fee, or get a membership key for £3. An hours use is £1, rising to £15 for four hours. If for what ever reason your are unable to return the bike after 24 hours its a £150 fine.
This is standard though – the Paris Vélib’ is exactly the same and has grown into the worlds largest cycle hire scheme.

That someone has already figured out how, to make a fake membership key and thus steal a bike (Vélib’ since starting in 2007, has had over 3000 bikes stolen)

THEN they is ridiculous issue that whilst Boris plans to reduce carbon emissions and look sustainable using the scheme – He is actually cutting out a proportion of the Congestion Charge area, allowing roughly 30,000 cars back into central London – and thus increasing its air pollution, already stated as the worst in Europe..

But how about positives

Paris’s scheme has grown over the years due to better cycle routes, tourists seeing it as viable option to getting on one of those buses and transport strikes. (London is quite good at this) It will also benefit to the health of Londoners, who may end up dusting of their own bikes after riding one and help cut down on personal carbon emissions. We could even get to see drunk people falling off bikes more often, Fantastic!

I’m also sure, it isn’t long until other cycle schemes appear in UK major cities, as if the bicycle is a brand new invention that everyone must own, just like those fruit based technology pad things.

So watch out for those cyclist coming soon

The Fill the fund sea-shantie

15 May

I haven’t gone off my rocker and decided to tell you sea-shanties No….
Instead I’m giving you the info on the International Maritime Organisation and there is a reason why.
The IMO is the United Nations arm that develops and maintains framework on shipping and when you go past their headquarters in central London you expect its workers to be dressed like this
like this

But NO, they are normal business suit types and this week has been a very important one regarding themselves and climate change.

For the last four days, meetings have took place on how to create schemes that will reduce their international transport emissions which holds the potentially to save them $12billion per year and knock off 3% of the worlds total carbon emissions.

Which is amazing and brings to mind slightly over-the-top images like solar powered ships:-


On Monday myself, and a team of Oxfam and tcktcktck representatives campaigned outside their office dressed in sailor hats and as boats –
images are here << I’M A BOAT
Giving representatives from around the world little origami boats for them to play with and which had on them one simple message. Fill The Fund

At COP16 a Climate Fund was set up to distribute a vast amount of money to poorer countries to assist them against climate impacts as well as aid in low-energy development.
Imagine if this spare $12billion IMO have, goes into the fund!
Imagine the kudos they will get from everyone!
Imagine if they were able to come to this type of decision within four days!

The final outcome from our work , was…..well…. non-existent.
OK we did not expect them to turn around and complete agree with us on the matter, but maybe, just maybe some of the maritime buisness suit types have listened to us and will one day raise the question
‘Why don’t we do something good with all this money?’


14 May

Well after several days of peace and tranquillity with the population able to hear bee’s buzzing and birds singing, we are back to the sound of engines crossing the sky to far flung destinations or France.

If you have been in a cave for the last week or so then you wouldn’t know about the Icelandic volcano that has erupted, spewing out enough ash to cover the North Atlantic and Western Europe

The news has been covered in the usually way of saying ‘CHAOS DESCENDS ON BRITAIN’ like our lives were drastically changed and people were running down the streets screaming because of not being able to cope.

Of course some people had the problem of being stuck abroad wanting to come home, they may have complained; but who wouldn’t like extra days of holiday even if it is on uncomfortably airport chairs!

News channels also had the extra problem of not being able to pronounce the Volcano’s name thus it just became the Icelandic Volcano (last time scientists check they was more then one volcano on Iceland) and not Eyjafjallajokull.

What is more interesting about this whole episode is the amount of environmental discussion the volcano has produced.

One point is that, I bet there are scientists somewhere analysing the data collected during those days of grounded planes to do with temperature, CO2 levels and cloud cover; hopefully they will come up with the same results those scientist that did the same thing in America when planes were grounded after 9/11 – results that state. Planes really do add to the climate change issue.

– It’s also good to know that those climate sceptics who believed volcanic eruptions cause more CO2 were proved wrong by Eyjafjallajokull’s activities.

It can also be said that the issue of Britain becoming sustainable and living on home grown crops was raised. Not only were holiday makers disrupted but so was crops like radish and pineapples; stuff with modern technology can be grown here in the UK anyways. Usually 90,000 tons of fruit and veg arrive at Heathrow per year, so much that many of these tons just get thrown away due to rotten. How good would it be to go back to an age where gardens are used as a food source, instead of being full of fanciful plants?

Transport systems have also had a boost; many stranded people are now taking train and boat to reach the UK. Imagine if due to this there is a surge in ‘taking it slow’ travel to Europe at least; after all they is a quote that goes along the lines of ‘it’s the travelling that makes a destination more pleasant’

Maybe the most important aspect is that the disruption adds to the campaign against a third runway at Heathrow. Since Heathrow re-opened I have remembered how loud planes are. For example when I first moved to Twickenham I would wake up whenever a plane was flying low thinking; Jesus it’s going to crash – I got used to the noise and have the option to go back to my home town if I want to hear nature, however many who have been born and breed here, for the first time ever, know what its like to have peace and quiet. There is even a movement to have a ‘plane free day’ once a year just for this factor. http://ow.ly/1B7uL

Of course flight companies say this will cost the economy billions, but hey I’m sure billions of people will be able to cope with that fact for one day.

Now, however we are back to normal – press have moved on to talk about Girls Aloud and flight companies are raking in the money; it would of been good in my mind if Eyjafjallajokull kept on producing ash until real chaos did descend and the newly elect Prime Minister would have to establish sustainability initiatives but alas this time the volcano decide to calm down before a Hollywood produce thought it would make a great movie.